Fear

Today is of course Mother’s Day and it has been a good day. There weren’t too many meltdowns before we headed out the door to church and that is a gift by itself! Worship took my focus off of myself and refocused my attention on the King of my heart. Our pastor spoke encouraging words and ones that I need to spend sometime studying and see how the Lord wants them applied. Church was followed by a great brunch and sweet gifts. Yes, a good day indeed.

Then a quick time of rest and this is where the sadness hit. When the day is focused entirely on the one person that now resides in Heaven, my heart hurts. Not just over the physical absence, but all that having your mom entails. Time has helped heal places and if walking through grief is something that can be used to help others, then I am thankful. Use it Lord and may it bring you glory.

I was reminded the other day, by a friends text, of my moms favorite verse. It was “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.” (2 Timothy 1:7). It’s a great verse, isn’t it? The thing is, my mom was very fearful, but all that seemed to fall away as she dealt with cancer. I know medicine helped, but she wasn’t afraid. She no longer had a spirit of fear. That had to be such a freeing feeling, when something you fought against your entire life, is no longer an issue! I think she picked a great verse. Don’t we all want to be done away with fear and have instead power, love and sound judgement? Is this even possible?

The last time I wrote, I mentioned the city of Nineveh. If you look at the book of Jonah in the Old Testament, you will see a man who started out with fear. “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because their evil has come before me.’  Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence.” (Jonah 1:1-3).  Oh Jonah, there isn’t anywhere you can go and not be in the Lord’s presence here on earth. Take a ship or plane, He’s still there.

I also wonder what the cost of the fare was that Jonah paid to catch his ride of escape? What price do we pay trying to escape? Whatever the cost, it is never enough. Jonah would soon find out that he could not escape. “But the Lord threw a great wind onto the sea, and such a great storm arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break apart.” Guess what Jonah was doing? “Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down to the lowest part of the vessel and had stretched out and fallen into a deep sleep. The captain approached him and said, ‘What are you doing sound asleep? Get up! Call to your god. Maybe this god will consider us, and we won’t perish.” (Jonah 1:5-6). I wonder if the call to “Get up” rang familiar to Jonah? Isn’t that exactly what the Lord had commanded earlier?

I’ve had plenty of times in my life where I know clearly what I am to do, but fled in the opposite direction. I paid the fare of escape and for a moment felt peace. However, a storm was raging and my vessel was threatening to break apart. That is such the way with sin. God says one thing in His word and we do the exact opposite. In Jonah’s case, he had good reason to run because what God was asking him to do was terrifying. Fear had to have been a great motivation to send him running and we will look more closely at that next time.

I see a bit of Jonah in me and maybe you do too. Fear has a way of becoming apart of us and spilling over into every aspect of our life. However, my mom knew it didn’t have to. God did not place a spirit of fear in us. No, instead he placed in us that know Him as our Lord, a spirit that is full of His power, love and sound judgement. It is out of what He has placed in us that we pour out to those inside our homes and everyone we come in contact with. So today, lets get up and let go of our fear. It leads to a shipwreck in our lives and anyone else we have in our boat. The price is too high and so much more is in store.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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